Samantha Blum Comp 1 Mrs. L-P 20 January 2012 “The Whisper of AIDS” is a very powerful speech. Mary Fisher wrote a very effective speech; one that would change a lot of American’s views on AIDS. This speech triggered emotions and brought forth an issue rarely talked about in that time of the world. Mary Fisher’s main point was to rid the stereotypes of people who contracted the sexually transmitted disease, AIDS. Fisher was a Caucasian female. She was not poor, not African American, and not homosexual. She did not contract AIDS from being with multiple partners; she got it from her husband.
Fisher wanted people to know that AIDS can happen to anyone. In her speech she said, “It [AIDS] does not care whether you are Democrat or Republican; it does not ask whether you are black or white, male or female, gay or straight, young or old. ” In this speech, she was talking to the Republican National Convention. By comparing the two completely opposite political parties (Republicans and Democrats), it shows that truly anyone can be victims of this disease. Fisher really made people think when she stated, “Though I am white and a mother, I am one with a black infant struggling with tubes in a Philadelphia hospital.
Though I am female and contracted this disease in marriage and enjoy the warm support of my family, I am one with the lonely gay man sheltering a flickering candle from the cold wind of his family’s rejection. ” She used a method known as “pathos”, which is using emotions to convince an audience in what you are saying. By a normal woman comparing herself to the typical stereotypes of AIDS, Fisher opened eyes about this disease. Many people thought only African American’s could contract AIDS because the disease is said to be originated from Africa and the disease was well-known there. Fisher was known to be very wealthy.
This also helped people realize it’s not just the poor it can happen to. Fisher also talked about President Bush Sr. ’s family supporting her through this time. This is interesting because Republicans are known as the “conservative” party vs. the Democrat party, so typically democrats would have been more likely to accept AIDS epidemic. I believe Fisher brought up President Bush to make Republicans more open to the idea of “normal” people contracting AIDS. When Fisher told people from the beginning that she got contracted her STD from her husband, she was automatically thought of as honest.
It was good for her to be known as honest because then the audience trusted her and really believed in what she had to say. Fisher used pathos many times in this speech. When she started talking about her family, she really hit home to many Americans. Everyone who had children could relate to her at that point. She stated, “My son Max, now four, will take the measure of his mother. My son Zachary, now two, will sort through his memories. I may not be here to hear their judgments, but I know already what I hope they are. I want my children to know that their mother was not a victim.
She was a messenger. I do not want them to think, as I once did, that courage is the absence of fear. ” In my opinion this was the most touching part of her speech. Talking about her children was really emotional to read and by her stating that she might not be there to hear her judgments made people realize that this disease is serious and deadly. Her final statement, “To all within the sound of my voice, I appeal: Learn with me the lessons of history and of grace, so my children will not be afraid to say the word “AIDS” when I am gone.
Then, their children and yours may not need to whisper it at all. God bless the children, God bless us all. Goodnight. ” showed America that AIDS is not something to be ashamed of and not something that needs to be hidden. Mary Fisher did an outstanding job at influencing people’s thoughts about AIDS. In this time and day, AIDS is well known and it’s not something people are embarrassed to talk about. She made it her goal to let people know AIDS can happen to anyone and warned people to be cautious of it. Fisher changed the life’s’ of many and how we look at AIDS today.